Have a business but do not have online presence?
Have a business and have fruitless online presence?
Have nothing but have the appetite to come up with an e-commerce website?
If your answer is yes, so this blog is entirely for you.
No one can even imagine in the last decade that the addition of one Letter “E” (i.e. denoting Electronic) before Commerce takes Commerce to the Next Level. Although the shift towards the Next Level was challenging but eventually sensational as well, the tireless effort of ’market runs’ after the takeoff of E-commerce turns out to be a hassle-free scheme.
We are living in Computer Age where businesses are shifting from the Old-style Business Model where it emphases on “standardized products, homogeneous market and long product life cycle” to the innovative business model where it focus on “varied and customized products and heterogeneous market”. E-commerce typically facilitates the business to meet the multiple needs of different customers and provide them with extensive range of products which is beneficial for the customers without physical shopping.
E-commerce – Overview
E-commerce or Electronic Commerce fundamentally is the dealing between Buyer and Seller over the internet or Trading on internet through the means of Electronic devices. Saying this is also not wide of the mark that E-Commerce is contemporary style of carrying out a successful business. E-Commerce is eventually a process of paperless exchange of Business in following ways:
Mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection.
E-commerce – Features
Few of the matchless features of E-Commerce includes following things:
- All time Services Accessibility
Your Business is never Closed, if we put this in other words so it can be said that the business never sleeps, the Service or Product whatever the business is offering to its customers are available 24X7 and buyer can purchase your Service or Product anytime from anywhere.
- Global Reach
Traditional Cultural and National borders certainly not develops any interference in E-Commerce since its enabling worldwide access to business website. It also eases international visitors all over the earth to access company Website, purchase products and make Business Relations.
- Enhanced Sales
Usage of E-commerce enables sales and purchase of any commodity / service anytime and anywhere without any deterrent which reduces dependency to buy any commodity / service and increase the sales.
E-Commerce provides several ways to deliver pre and post-sale assistance in order to achieve excellent customer services.
- Non Cash Payments
Since all the transactions are online in E-Commerce so the buyer of Commodity / Services pays electronically against purchase.
E-Commerce a multi-billion dollar industry, yes multi-billion dollar so without wasting any time go into this industry if not entered yet …. YOU MUST SAY ‘HOW’ SO THE ANSWER OF YOUR QUESTION IS BELOW ….
- Discourage Rashness:
Primarily don’t rash, remain cool and play smart as you did before taking your car on main roads, if I’m not wrong you must well-learned driving earlier and then securely and positively took the control of driving seat otherwise without proper learning the outcome of driving a car will be an inordinate mishap!
Let Say you are not a finance guy and if anyone approaches to you and say put in all your cash in Stock Market will you do that? A big ‘NO’ will be your answer I have confidence in, but why? Surely due to the existence of unpredictability in the Stock Exchange, you’ll first do the study and research before going in to a system about which you are inexperienced.
What I recommend to beginners with the aim to dodge any trouble is they should first and foremost learn the ABC and get acquainted with the prerequisites of E-commerce first as you’ll always refrain from jumping in to a deep swimming pool until and unless you’re a Perfect Swimmer.
- Strong Planning:
Planning plays a significant role in knowing what to do in advance before you commence a new venture.
Write, Write and Just Write whatever you’ve desire to do, putting words in to action is relatively advantageous then leap in the dark. The mutual habit noticed among go getters is they write all that jazz they want to perform.
Put pen to paper what you’re eager to accomplish, the progression of successful planning for your business is the main rocket-science just once it’s ready it will automatically leads you toward the right trail. What is in reality done in this phase, lets realize à Knowing the goals or objectives to be achieved àput into words approaches how to achieve the goals or objectives which you’ve recognized earlier à arranges or creates means required à execute and perceive all the steps are moving forward inline.
To achieve win-win situation you must’ve have a backup plan too which benefits you in dealing with contingencies.
Following the process above is in point of fact is easiest way to getting right on each mission without procrastination.
- Choosing the Products / Services You will Sell:
Subsequently the absolute plan assuredly the next step is to pick the products / services which you’ll be vending from your E-Commerce Website this step is like moving from the generic stair to specific stair. This includes not only to opting out what to sell but as well as all the features for e.g. Colors, sizes or any other feature. This point requires the answer of so many questions such as to Produce own self or if you can’t produce yourself so you will need to find supplier.
- Set Targets:
You must’ve the targeted audience for e.g. if you’re selling football and you’ve targeted the audience living in a location where playing cricket is more usual so it’s natural you’ll not able to sell your product in that locality.
You must’ve targets for each and everything for e.g. Sales Target and other required as per your item which you’re selling.
- Throw the Trailer / Teaser before Launching the Full Movie(Prelaunch-Promotion):
In simpler words before introduction of your E-commerce website just to build an excitement in the bazaar and observing some other dynamics (which are discussed below) it’s a good choice to buy a Domain and throw a page along with Clear Logo declaring “Business Coming Soon”. Create your Business Pages on different Social Media Channels and make short videos and spread what you’ve for your targeted audience on different online channels (Such as Social Media, Electronic Media, YouTube, Print Media and etc.)
The guidance given you above (i.e. Point# 5) will support you in detecting following elements.
- Does market needs whatsoever you’re coming up with? (The condition will be different if your product / service is such strong that itself it will converted in to the need of the market).
- Gives you enough time to finish with important and additional groundwork simultaneously while evaluating the consumer behavior.
- Always remain open to the critics it will help you in rectifying the booboos your idea / business have.
- Practice makes the man perfect, Yes Indeed, this is universal truth. You only get one and only shot at launching your website don’t introduce your E-Commerce website until you’re aware of market realities and perfect in what you are going to be do. Once thru with rehearsals and practices enter in to the market without any fear and with confidence.
- Pick out right Solutions / Software(Platform & Technology) fit for your E-Commerce Website:
E-Commerce principally shelters all online goings-on and designed in a manner with intention of persuading internet users to purchase products and services online. In order to flourish you must’ve the full control over your website content, products, prices, promotion and transaction / payments online. Ensure the solution for which you’re going for is fully featured, if not so you’ll be in hot waters at least It has features mentioned below:
- Facilitates you to manage stock and inventory automatically (Product & Category Wise) along with the multiple product options (size, color and volume)
- Must enable you to manage Customers and their activities along with invoicing and order tracking.
- Must have Variety of delivery choices for customer with preset calculations as a result of selection by customer accordingly.
- Data Reports for Sales, Shopping Cart, Products, Customers, Tags, Reviews & Search Term. (Separate for each with different criteria to generate the desired report).
- Integration of famous payment merchant like PayPal, 2Checkout, Authorize.net, Stripe and etc.
- Reminders to Users those who created wish list.
- Social Media Integration.
- Live Chat
FEW OF THE BEST E-Commerce Website Software (Platform & Technology):
Magento is of the most prevalent E-Commerce software in the World. Developers love this due to its flexibility, high-quality extensions and themes that expand the reach of your E-Commerce Website’s essential functionality. Moreover it also always welcomes you to plugin readymade apps which that incorporate new features in to your website without absorbing your brain in Coding.
It supports different languages and currencies which makes it a global solution that can suit E-Commerce Websites all around the world.
Magento also very well-known for its feature which makes it SEO Friendly which eventually let your E-Commerce website Search Friendly
Know more about Magento:
Magento Installation tutorial: (it’s free to Download and Install)
WooCommerce is built to mix effortlessly with WordPress, it is apparent E-Commerce prime choice for existing WordPress users, and connects them to the fast paced WordPress Ecosystem. WooCommerce can without difficulty be downloaded without any charges from WordPress.org and it has 100% open source. Be acquainted with more facts about WooCommerce:
Magento and other ecommerce technology platforms (particularly the open source ones), have been a bonus for SMEs who have now a cost effective way to overwhelmed the ecommerce technology hurdle. Here is the market share of most of the popular ecommerce technology platforms in 2016, as per a research report by Aheadworks:
- Focus on Customer :
The people visits the park regularly are basically attracted with the ambiance, greenery and the roses around there. What will be effect if the park surrounds thorns and soil I believe none of us will visit any place to see the same regularly.
Keeping in view the example above we move forward and talk over the curb in E-Commerce that the user / customer visiting on your E-Commerce website is not even touching your product like brick and mortar and have many other fears too so fascinate your user with various other factors few are below:
- Offer Lowest Possible Prices.
- Free Delivery. (Conditional upon the nature of your Product)
- Basic shopping Cart.
- Easiest / Very Few steps checkout process.
- User Friendly Website.
- Responsive Website.(Ensure to deliver world class experience to your E-Commerce Website user with the help of responsive website you empowers your user / customer can shop anyplace on any device.)
- Provide full contact details including complete correspondence / business address.
- Availability of Forums where Users can communicate with you directly as and when required.
Treat these effects as one of the vital Things-To-Do!
However keep testing your E-Commerce website in every segment i.e. in advance, in the course of and afterwards you liftoff E-Commerce Website. Always keep yourself at the place of customer and try your level best to think in the same way as customer does and keep a check of everything / all the features available are functioning.
At the time of launching your E-Commerce website and taking your Business LIVE (online) make sure and try your level best definitely not any gap is left and your website looks and functions flawlessly!
It’s like make it or break it point, you never wants just because of one or two ambiguities your dream project flops!
Checklist plays a vital role to escape from misadventures!
Checked, Set, Roger!!!
Just Simply launching E-Commerce and thinking it will start making millions automatically. LOL but this will never happen because it’s your E-Commerce website with ability to perform miracles if you’ve completed your homework but not a magic wand.
There’s no magic way to make your E-Commerce Prosperous and Popular but there’s a systematic way indeed exists.
Have a look on the systematic ways!
It’s like Fishing and hoping that you’ll get a Catch (If you’re prepared sound and well-equipped you’ll unquestionably catches maximum amount of Fishes)
You must have an Internet Marketing Strategy
What should be the foundations of your stratagem? See beneath
- First of all you need to convey the market / your targeted audience what makes you unique in your industry.
- Exploring the right audience, engage with them and motivate them to take desired actions.
- Get close to your customer.
- Building online awareness for your Brand, product and services is also very necessary.
- Statistically, companies that blog get 55% more visitors to their website that companies don’t blog. Therefore your E-Commerce Website should include an integrated blog, which helps you in providing to customer with useful and relevant information.
- Search Engines Optimization (The most popular Search Engine is Google.com and other major one are Bing and Yahoo) upon searching by user (Query of User) as search result shows the web pages on ranking basis, the web page ranked 1st by search engine appear on number one of the search results and if the webpage is ranked least by the search engine it appears on the Last in the search results. The rank is based on what Search Engine considers most relevant to users.
- Efficient Spending on your Campaigns.
- Return on Investment.
- Never take too lightly the power of the SEO:
The most frequent word heard in the world of E-Commerce Industry is SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization. A good search engine optimization of your E-Commerce website is actually what let Search Engine realize that your E-Commerce website is more relevant for users searching for results against query (if the query pertains to your E-Commerce website). Most of the times we hear from people that bringing the desired amount of traffic on E-Commerce website is the toughest task to-do, yes it is but not impossible. If truth be told so getting the traffic that wills actually converts to money requires proficiency and expertise, Search Engine Optimization is one of the greatest ways to drive value organic traffic to your E-Commerce website.
SEO in basic words is the Process of maximizing the number of visitors to particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the List of Results returned by a Search Engine.
Once you assessed the need of your potential customer and understand the content they are looking for, use the same content in your E-Commerce website and ensure your E-Commerce website is healthy optimized for search engine so search engine will definitely connect searchers to your site.
So SEO for relative keywords in short helps you in generating maximum customer traffic on your E-Commerce Website.
- Conversion Rate Optimization – CRO:
Do you know what Conversion Rates actually is? No, no problem get familiar with this now, it’s basically the measure / percentage of visitors converting into buyer according to latest research only an average number of 2 to 3 visitors become buyer out of 100. CRO is purely based on how your user behaves and analysis of your user’s psyche.
- Why it’s required?
- It will help your business to generate more sales with the existing traffic.
- Maximize the Return on Investment of your online marketing expend.
- Increase customer engagement and retention rates.
CRO can be done in various ways since there are number of ways to facilitate your user and always put your level best in simplification of the Processes for them. Hard things to do for user on your E-Commerce website eventually discourage the User / traffic on your Site to buy whatever you’re offering but simple and basic things to do for user encourages traffic to convert in customer. In general, some of the ways of CRO are below:
- Clear name of your Product along with rich and in depth Description and why the user buys it and Superior Image of the Product with the Price Tag near to the buy button.
- CTA i.e. Call to Action button, be intelligent with the Color, Placement, Size and Copy. (Do you know? Successful E-Commerce website changes the CTA button’s Text and Colors on its website when users access the same site from different locations depending on their language, preference, psyche and etc.
- Win the user confidence by the addition of Product reviews and the endorsements.
- Helps user with automated option of related product relevant to the user’s query and likings. (Addition of Nosto will be of great help, Nosto is an official Facebook marketing partner a. It is basically a free extension that track unique behavior of the user and offers them suggested items based on their online activity)
- Social Media Marketing – SMM:
Roughly social media have 2.5 billion active users and more than one in five, are you with me? Yes more than one in five of the world’s population shopped online in past 30 days and most of them are redirected to your E-Commerce Website through Social Media Sites. Now you may get the Point this is why SMM is usually a key to success of E-Commerce Website.
SMM is indeed one of the most productive marketing techniques in order to generate handsome returns from your E-Commerce Website with help of bringing the interested audience those who seen your content on Social Media and it’s appealing them to reach your E-Commerce Website to make online purchases.
Effective SMM expects from you a well-adjusted and sensible apportionment of paid and organic ways of Marketing. Depending on anyone one of it can leads towards the Dark.
According to a study, by using social media only 6 hours a week, 66% of Sellers enjoy improved lead generation.
Decide on which Social Media Channel is the most suitable for your Product to reach its consumer. This entirely depends on the nature of your Product and Service and type of users available on the Social Media Channels (Every Social Media has not the same kind of users). Reliant on only one social media channel is also not a correct judgment as 90% of successful retail brands use 2 or more Social Media Channels. Once you took the best suitable Social Media Channels to reach your desired audience then you’ll be able achieve the wanted outcomes and in the Last but not the least SMM keeps you competitive and helps you in increasing the sales.
Nevertheless furthermore remember that if the quantities of Likes and Shares are too little in figure on various Social Media Channels therefore it may portray a negative social picture of your Business which is not fortunate for your Brand / E-Commerce Website.
Gauging the results and trends of your website, blog, search engine ranking and social reach plays a fundamental role in any online marketing strategy this is basically hunting down of each and every number / statistics correlated with your E-Commerce Website.
This is as well a very great job to be done in order to run / make your E-Commerce Website successful. This gives you a result of Strengths and Weaknesses moreover you’ll also get acquainted with the facts that your business is going on effectively and efficiently as well as it will also help you in lessening the marketing cost (if you’re going wrong) by showing you the lesser numbers.
Few of the most important metrics to measure includes:
- Website:Site visitors, page views, pages per visit, average time on the site, bounce rate, top landing and exit pages, top content, leads & conversions.
- Blog: Subscribers, views / visitors, conversions, comments, clicks, rank, inbound links, social media shares.
- SEO: Page rank, number of indexed pages, number of inbound links, number of keywords sending traffic to your site, long-tail keyword rank & opportunities.
- Social Media: number of likes, followers, connections, growth, engagement, momentum, results.
Some of Sayings pertaining to the E-Commerce Website by Great People / Leaders having successful E-Commerce Websites:
- Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com said:
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
- Yasuhiro Fukushima, Japanese business executive said:
“Thus, in the future, instead of buying bananas in a grocery store, you could go pick them off a tree in a virtual jungle.”
- Meg Whitman, former CEO of EBay said:
“Communications is at the heart of E-Commerce.”
- Paul Graham, A Computer Scientist and Founder YC said:
“You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and drag them back to your store.”
- Jack Ma, Chinese Business Magnate, Founder and Executive Chairman of Ali Baba Group said:
“You should learn from your competitor, but never copy. Copy and you die.”
Hope you’ll categorically learnt the dynamics of E-Commerce Website. Execute the same practically if the answer of question I asked from you in the inception of this Blog is ‘YES’.
Now Share the same with connections on Social Media Channels and Comment below.
This Blog written by Nabeel Akhtar
Link to approach his Facebook Profile: https://web.facebook.com/mohammadnabeelakhtar